By Max Schochet – 1851 Staff
For sophomore and aspiring rapper Jake Lewis, it’s all in a day’s work. “Sharing that energy with a group of people and having the whole crowd scream and stuff, it’s just awesome,” said Lewis. He’s speaking of Open-Mic Night, held in the Campus Center.
Lewis will be performing at his second Open-Mic Night in November. He says the event is a great platform for students to showcase their talents.
“I write everything, it’s all original,” said Lewis. “It prepares me professionally by expanding my network, strengthening or creating new ties and allowing me to experiment with how I approach performing. I always try to push some sort of message, I think it’s important to help people in their journey.”
The events are planned by Campus Activities Board (CAB), a student run organization that provides campus-wide programming.
“In short, our mission is to get people involved and get people going out, making new friends, and being a part of something on campus,” said senior Bridget Delaney, President of CAB. “We try our best to do that.”
Delaney said there is plenty for students to see and do including concerts, comedy-shows, movie nights, trivia and even a psychic medium. But perhaps the most popular event is Bingo, which happens throughout the year and during Family, Friends and Alumni Weekend. “FFAW Bingo is CAB’s biggest one of the year,” said Delaney. “It’s [located] in the dining hall and we usually get around 300 people for this Bingo. And it’s so much fun.”
The board has big plans coming. “I’m not sure if we can disclose the name yet but it’s a pretty big comedian. And that will be during our Winter Week which is the first week of December,” said Delaney, talking about a comedian from MTV’s “Guy Code.”
CAB carefully plans, organizes, and schedules each event months in advance.
“We have four different committees,” said Delaney. “We pick out the dates before the year ends for the following year. Then the committees go through and decide who they want to come to perform, what kind of event they want to have.”
Finding and booking talent can be a time consuming process. “There is a lot that goes into it,” said Sarah Richardson, the Assistant Director of Student Activities and the advisor of CAB. Members of CAB attend the National Association for Campus Activities in November to network and scout for talent. They can talk to agents and determine what acts will be held at Lasell. “They work hard. They work all summer to plan for the fall. They’ll work all fall to plan the spring. They’re always kind of a semester ahead. It’s a lot,” said Richardson.
So what do students get out of it? “They get a variety of different things,” said Delaney. “Hopefully we encourage them to bring their friends and they may get a chance to talk to the performer too which is really cool. So it’s really good to have people meet new people and know they may walk away with a new friend that night.”
Friends, audience participation and support make Open-Mic Night one of CAB’s most successful events. It’s where students can perform and interact with their peer audience members. There are musicians, slam poetry, karaoke and entertainers just to name a few highlights. Richardson said it started small but has grown exponentially.
“Two winters ago a musician cancelled on the same day because of the weather,” she said. “The students turned it into Open-Mic Night and everyone for some reason came to it. I don’t know if it’s because they were locked up for three days because of the snow or what. But that was the pivotal moment where it went from nothing to now [being] huge.”
“It gives students a chance to just share their talents and break out of their shell, they know that they can perform confidently at a small setting and hopefully move on to pursue their aspirations and whatever that is. It’s pretty cool,” said Richardson.